Current issue: 54(2)
In view of improving multi-country forest sector models, this study investigated to what extent the price and income elasticity of demand for forest products had changed in the past two decades, and how much they depended on the countries income level. For each of seven major product groups annual observations were divided between high-income (top 20% in gross domestic product per capita) and low-income, and between recent (2004–2013) and older (1992–2003) observations. The results indicated that for sawnwood and particleboard the data could be pooled across all countries and years. For the other commodity groups (veneer & plywood, fiberboard, newsprint, printing & writing paper, other paper & paperboard), there were statistically significant differences in gross domestic product or price elasticity between high and low-income levels or old and recent observations. Efficient elasticities were obtained by pooling the maximum number of observations while respecting the statistically significant differences. The resulting GDP elasticities were the same, or very close, across income levels for all products. The price elasticities differed by income level only for newsprint and for veneer and plywood. International forest sector projections to 2065 obtained with these elasticities compared with those based on pooling all data across time and income levels gave less than 3% difference for world consumption of sawnwood, particleboard, fiberboard, and newsprint, but 19% higher consumption for veneer and plywood, 31% for printing and writing paper, and 18% for other paper and paperboard. The world price was 1% to 11% higher for end products and 3% to 22% higher for raw materials and intermediate products.
This paper reports on the possibility and difficulties in building growth models from past Forest Administration records on cut and growth in the Italian Alps. As a case study, a matrix model was calibrated for uneven-aged forests in the Valsugana valley of the Trentino province. The model gave reliable predictions over 30 years, and plausible long-term forest dynamics, including steady-states that are similar to virgin forests. The results support the view that the current forests are deeply altered as to composition, relative to what would obtain from natural growth. They also support the concept of long cyclic changes in natural stands, gradually approaching a climax state. Shortcomings of the data are that they do not come from an experimental design, they are not always accurate, and they must be supplemented with other information, especially concerning mortality. Still, these cheap and available data can lead to workable models adapted to local conditions, with many management applications.